This week we focus on Belle. Again. Which is ok, because this time we get to see that she’s not just a damsel in distress, but can be quite clever and capable on her own.
Gold wants to leave Storybrooke to search for Baelfire, the son he sent to our world in season 1. He’s created a magic potion that, when applied to something “you hold most dear,” allows the bearer to cross the town line without forgetting his (or her) fairy tale self. He tests the potion on the hapless Smee. It works! Gold will use the potion on an old scarf of Bae’s he’s kept in a safe in his store.
Meanwhile, Hook is threatening the captive Archie for information on Gold’s weakness. Geez, he didn’t need to kidnap Archie to learn that Belle is Gold’s weakness, but whatever. When Belle opens the library, Hook is waiting for her. He chases after her until she finds refuge in an old elevator. She calls Gold, who comes to her aid. But it turns out the attack was just a ploy to get Gold out of his shop, so that Hook could ransack the place and steal the scarf.
As Belle is cleaning up the library after the melee, she finds a rope tied in a nautical knot. From this, she deduces that Hook came to Storybrooke in his ship, because she’s super smart. Of course, there’s no ship in the harbor, but Belle notices some seagulls perched in mid-air. Taking some conveniently placed sand, she throws it on what turns out to be the ship’s gangplank. She boards the ship, finds Archie and sets him free. Yay!
Hook finds Belle and they skirmish a bit until Belle resourcefully knocks him flat, retrieves the scarf, and makes her getaway. But Hook catches up with her (this is, after all, his ship, and he knows all the secret passageways). Gold arrives (Archie told him where Belle was) and starts beating the crap out of Hook. Hook taunts Gold to kill him while Belle pleads with him not to. Belle wins, but not before Gold gets in a few more whacks.
In Fairy Tale Land (I noticed my cable guide also calls it “fairy-tale land,” so there’s that), Belle is sitting in a pub drinking ale when Dreamy, pre-Grumpy, stops by. The men in the pub are planning to hunt a fiery, fire-breathing creature called a Yaoguai that’s been attacking villages. Belle wants to join them. (Why? I ask. I guess so she can have an adventure that’s not from a book?) Dreamy says “Go for it,” and gives her a bag of fairy dust for good luck.
On the hunt, the men rag on bookish Belle. She tells them her book says the Yaoguai lives near the lake. The men then kick her off their cart—literally—and head for the lake. Of course, the book really says the Yaoguai lives in a cave. Ha! When Belle finds the cave, the beast rushes at her, but runs off when Mulan shows up and tries to kill it. Belle’s all “Thank you for saving my life.” Mulan’s all bitchy because Belle prevented her from killing the beast she’d been tracking for weeks. Belle says she tracked it only a day and they should team up. Mulan tells her to bugger off. I’d forgotten what a royal ass this Mulan is.
But Mulan apparently reconsiders, because she saves Belle from being thrown down a well (by the men she lied to). This time Mulan acknowledges Belle’s talents and the two set off together, although Mulan’s been injured in the fight.
By the time they find the Yaoguai, Mulan’s wound has worsened, so she gives Belle her sword and sends her off to kill the beast. Belle sets a trap, and when the Yaoguai attacks, she douses it with water. Damn, that Belle is smart! The no-longer-on-fire (and presumably dying) Yaoguai scratches “Save me” in the ground, and kind-hearted Belle remembers the fairy dust. She sprinkles it on the creature and…
The Yaoguai is Prince Phillip! He’s not dead! Oh wait, he says Maleficent turned him into the beast, and when he meets Mulan, they don’t know each other. So he is still dead. Rats. That’s the trouble with Fairy Tale Land. When you go there, you’re never sure just where in the timeline you’ve landed. I should have realized this was early on, because Grumpy is still named Dreamy.
Anyway, embolden with her new-found strength, Belle decides she’s going to “rescue” Rumpy, and leaves Phillip and Mulan. She doesn’t get very far before she runs into the Evil Queen, who captures and imprisons her. The End (at least of this week’s Fairy Tale Land adventure).
Back in Storybrooke, at the city limits, with scarf safely in hand, or rather around his neck, Gold is ready to leave. He and Belle take the l-o-n-g-e-s-t time saying goodbye. Which gives Hook enough time to appear out of the woods and shoot Belle. As if that’s not bad enough, she falls over the city line, completely losing her memory. Gold is ready to fireball Hook when a car comes out of no where into Storybrooke. Gold gets himself and Belle out of the way, but Hook is run down. Gosh, I’m kind of hoping he’s dead.
In Other News That Doesn’t Advance The Plot (at least not yet): the Charmings decide to look for a larger dwelling. And some of the Storybrooke residents want to return to Fairy Tale Land.
[Photos by Jack Rowland © 2013 ABC]